Fully automatic fire sprinkler systems are widely regarded as the most effective method of controlling a fire. Compliant Fire Services designs, installs and commissions cost-effective sprinkler systems by carefully analysing a building and its contents in terms of occupancy, operation and fire risk. These systems are engineered to comply with the relevant Australian Standards.
Sprinkler systems automatically detect a fire, transmit an alarm and control or extinguish the fire. They are located in places where people cannot always be present and operate only as needed in the immediate vicinity of the fire.
They have important life safety connotations, and can prevent fires from reaching destructive proportions, which may mean the difference between a minor interruption and a prolonged permanent shutdown.
Automatic fire sprinklers provide a significant level of protection for the occupants of a building together with protection of the environment by minimising the effects that a major structural fire could have. Sprinklers also safeguard against loss of product, equipment and building contents in general as well as minimising disruption to normal operations.
Residential Sprinkler Systems
Residential sprinkler systems are automatic fire suppression systems which are simple in design and have the priority of saving life. The system can be constructed with modern materials and with unobtrusive sprinkler heads mounted in the ceiling or high on the walls of a dwelling. They are generally connected to the town water supply. Once activated, the sprinkler system is designed to control the fire in its initial stages thereby allowing for the safe evacuation of occupants and additionally, to minimise fire damage.
Contrary to popular belief, the only sprinkler heads which will operate are the ones which are individually activated by the heat from the fire and usually this is the one head directly above the fire, thus minimising water damage.
Residential Sprinkler Systems AS 2118.4, are generally suitable for Class 2 and 3 buildings up to four storey's in height; e.g. special residential service buildings, hostels, hotels, etc.
Residential sprinkler systems operate during the initial stages of a fire and are designed to provide time for egress and prevent flashover. This is achieved due to the specialised heads which are both fast response and have a particular spray pattern that cools the walls as well as directing water downward onto the fire. The sprinkler is activated when the heat from the fire raises the temperature of the head to a point where the element will activate and allow water to pass. The sprinkler system should be installed in conjunction with smoke alarms which will activate to provide early warning to the occupants.
Through new technology, the size and appearance of sprinkler heads have dramatically improved. The following improvements have been made:
- Smaller sprinkler heads have modified profiles.
- Sprinkler heads can be flush mounted with the ceiling.
- Sprinkler heads are available in colours to match decor.
- Side wall heads can be used.
- Temperature sensitive fixtures can conceal heads.
It is recommended that an automatic fire detection and alarm system is to be installed as per relevant sections of the Building Code of Australia. It is also commended that smoke alarms be installed. Require less water than commercial sprinklers (thus less water damage in comparison).